spectrometer, to measure fruit maturity on the tree prior to harvest have been introduced.

A new device, the SCiO™, described by Toivonen, is a pocket-sized molecular spectrometer that absorbs reflected LED light from an object, breaks it into a spectrum and analyzes it to determine the object’s chemical make up. “The information is sent to the ‘cloud’ for calculation and the results appear on an app on your smartphone,” explained Toivonen’s research technician Brenda Lannard.

The SCiO™ can not only be used to measure sweetness of fruit, but also anything from the nutritional value of meat to the composition of pharmaceuticals.

The Voen Cover System for cherries can have both positive and negative effects, according to Gayle Krahn, horticulture manager at Cholla Hills Orchard.

The system, which covers the entire planting, consists of plastic sheeting adhered to a sturdy hail net constructed on a wooden or steel framework. In Krahn’s studies, the system gave good rain and hail protection, produced larger cherries with greener stems and


Brenda Lannard demonstrates the SCiO™ pocket-sized spectrometer for measuring fruit maturity.

reduced the need for irrigation. Negatives included increased warmth under the cover which resulted in softer fruit and picker discomfort. The cover also interfered with

development of fruit colour and produced smaller, earlier maturing cherries.

“Don’t over react” is Susanna Acheampong’s advice to growers if they find Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs in their orchard.

Downtown Kelowna is heavily infested with the bugs which commonly spread to surrounding agricultural lands within 3 to 4 years after urban detection. Acheampong, a scientist with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, said that spraying has not worked well in the U.S. “The bad news is nobody knows how to kill the little guys,” said BMSB committee chair Glen Wood. The Asian Samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus, an egg parasitoid of the bug, is the current best hope.

It has been found in the wild in parts of the United States, but not in B.C. “Dr. Paul Abram of AAFC Canada is working on a petition for the importation and release of Samurai wasps in Canada,” Acheampong said.

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2018


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